Thursday saw the first Lit Society theatre trip to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the Norwich Playhouse. Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most loved plays, and the Icarus Theatre Collective provided their own unique interpretation.
Great use was made of their female cast, especially with Tybalt. This added a certain edge that allowed the “lads” of the play, Mercutio and Benvolio, to play up to their sexuality. Watching the play on stage certainly suddenly allows you to grasp the overtly sexual language.
Aside from the drama and tragedy of the plot, the nurse provided a comic element, adding a light hearted edge to the play. Being a minimal cast of eight, some actors took on multiple parts, but this was executed well, and did not jerk the smoothness of the production.
The scenery was also a huge factor in the play’s success. A circle in the centre of the stage represented a sundial and the left hand side of the stage remained open with only a few chairs for props. The right hand side formed a maze of archways, creating a mysterious feel as characters were able to hide, seen only by the audience.
Various and skilful choreography was employed during the sword fight scenes and in a dance sequence that took place at the ball, ending in slow motion with the two star crossed lovers’ first meeting. At one point Romeo walked to the stage through the audience, and the ending revealed a spotlight which evoked ideas of the dead pair being transported up into the sky.
The Collective’s production did not disappoint. The play was a clear success, made accessible for all audiences.